I was at a restaurant with Madame Persolaise and I ordered a non-alcoholic cocktail called a Green Envy, purely on the basis that I liked the name. It arrived in due course: a clear, emerald liquid in a tall glass, topped with a slice of lime. I took a sip and somewhere, hidden behind a pleasant citrusy sweetness, was a very familiar flavour. Slightly earthy, slightly woody, I knew that I knew what it was, but each time I thought I was about to pin it down, the sweetness reappeared to conceal it. 'An odd flavour,' I thought to myself, 'almost like... almost like drinking a perfume...'
At the end of the meal, I asked our waiter what was in the drink and everything clicked into place when he said, "Khus syrup." That's exactly what it was: a gentle, clean, transparent vetivert, cunningly hidden in my mocktail. Shame on me for not recognising it!
What's even more interesting is that you can buy the stuff in shops, bottled as a cordial. Perhaps I ought to import it into the UK and give Ribena a run for its money...?